Editors Note: This is part 3 of a three-part series taken from a philosophical paper. Part 1 was published on January 7th, and part 2 was published on January 14th. This is the fourth blog for the EID Blog, which is the Evolution/Intelligent Design Blog. Remember, a primary focus of The Systems Scientist is to provide a platform where different and contrasting ideas have direct access to each other. Our bubble is everything! Enjoy the EID Blog!
By Matt Johnson
Certainly, Bill Nye and Ken Ham would object to parts of this new argument, i.e., this new option. In the case of Nye, what objection would he use from this short, third option argument? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computational Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? Which hypothesis is the one he would find most disturbing to his belief system? And what would Ham object to?
What objection would he use from this short, third option proposal? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computation Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? For both of these orators, which hypothesis would be the most likely, disagreeable hypothesis?
As a consequence of the Matrix Hypothesis thus far, both Nye and Ham’s world views would not be interrupted if the Metaphysical Hypothesis were found to be true. Only a few underlying metaphysical beliefs would need to change in order for them both to continue their respective perspectives. For example, like the science of relativity and natural selection, the fossil record and the process of discovering and understanding the fossil record wouldn’t be affected. With the exception of a few metaphysical beliefs, Nye would continue to believe his story about the fossil record and Ham would continue to believe his story about the fossil record; and they would continue to disagree.
Bill Nye would continue to agree with the notion that natural laws that happened in the past still happen today. In other words, the laws of physics are roughly the same now as they were a few hundred million years after the Big Bang (It is believed that the laws of physics operated a bit differently just after the Big Bang). And natural selection along with the other evolutionary mechanisms would still be the prevailing explanations for how and why species on this planet evolved. In addition, Ken Ham would take the position, as a biblical creationist, that the world began about 4,000 BCE. Placed in the context of Chalmers’ paper, the creation simulation began about 4,000 years ago with the simulated world already established. Thus, in this case, the Computational Hypothesis wouldn’t have much of an effect on either other than a small, subtle change in metaphysical beliefs. So how would Nye and Ham view the Creation Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis?
For Ham, the Creation Hypothesis wouldn’t change much other than he would view the Creation Hypothesis as evidence for a creator. In other words, he would not view the creator as some innocuous scientist running the simulation in the next universe up. Rather, he would view the creator as a biblical creator. However, it is likely Nye would have issues with this hypothesis. This is because Nye comes from the point of view of an empiricist. In short, one can’t know for sure if the creator is a biblical God or an innocuous scientist who likes beer. Thus, the empirical evidence suggests it is probably neither.
But again, if the Creation Hypothesis were true, it wouldn’t change much of Nye’s belief system other than a few metaphysical beliefs, and that’s assuming it would change any of his metaphysical beliefs at all. Remember, the hypothesis doesn’t require his belief in it. In addition, like Chalmers’ indicated in his paper, no one knows if it is true or not; but just the same, no one knows if it is false or not. Whatever the entity is, it exists outside space-time and cannot be falsified or verified by contemporary scientific methods or technologies.
For Nye, the Mind-Body Hypothesis wouldn’t change much. Again, if he accepted the Creation Hypothesis, and that’s a big “if,” he would more than likely accept the notion of the scientist in the next universe up, not the biblical creator. But as for Ham, he certainly wouldn’t accept the Mind-Body Hypothesis in its current form. This is because of his logic tree. For him, biblical evidence is used to conclude his biblical ideology. That is, the book of Genesis is specific about Man being created in the image of God. This means that the mind-body of Man exists in the simulation itself, although it is not known for sure if Ham would disagree with this notion of existing in a simulation. Either way, the mind would still exist outside of space-time, receiving inputs, and outputting information into the simulated universe in an interactive way.
This is certainly not how Ham would think about this interaction between the universe outside of space-time and the universe inside space-time. Only the biblical God would be able to move back and forth between the “spiritual” world and this world, hence the stories of Moses, Daniel, Jesus, etc. However, Ham’s beliefs do not affect the Mind-Body Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis, if true, probably won’t affect his metaphysical beliefs.
In short, Ken Ham would still be directing operations at Answers In Genesis in Kentucky, and he would still have his hair. And he and Bill Nye would still disagree on the things they disagree on without realizing they would probably agree on some of the conditions of the Matrix Hypothesis, or at least they would both agree to disagree with this modest proposal.
I am not an empiricist. I am more than likely a Kuhnian, so Chalmers’ is not out of reach for me. I find his proposal to be fascinating. And if it were to be true, it would not affect my world other than a change in a few metaphysical beliefs. So other than the metaphysical consequences of the Creation Hypothesis, i.e., some innocuous, beer drinking scientist running the simulation in the next universe up, my world and my beliefs in the world would not be shattered. Rather, I would have gained greater understanding and knowledge of my world.
With respect to the Computational Hypothesis, it wouldn’t influence my world much at all. I’m not a quantum physicist so I can only assume that finding out that bits are the foundation of the universe would have a negligible impact on my life similar to that of finding out about the Higgs-Boson. Yes! It was cool. But it didn’t change my world much. The laws of nature are still the laws of nature and the scientific process works just fine. And in regards to the Mind-Body Hypothesis, receiving inputs from outside space-time wouldn’t change much for me either. The only difference is, if the hypothesis were to be found true, I would know, and that’s if I were privy to the new-found information. Thus, it would be possible for me to believe in an Intelligent Designer while being a non-believing agnostic who happens to be a mathematical scientist.
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